A Farewell and a Birthday

It was an interesting weekend that started with a farewell party and a birthday celebration for two good friends.

On Friday night, I attended my friend’s farewell party at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, which was hosting its First Fridays event. The First Fridays at the Guggenheim is essentially a night where they transform the museum into a club lounge for one night on the first Friday of the month. The lines are always packed for this event as it has become very popular with young professionals, older guys who look to meet young girls, singles, art connoisseurs, and some curious people. Even after getting there at around 8:40 PM, the lines were already packed from the corner of 5th Ave all the way to the edge of Madison Ave. and E 89th St. I was fortunate to get in a bit sooner after bumping into James and friends who were able to get me into their part of the line.

It was good to see him for another night out before he heads towards a new era in China. I know that I have changed from the person he last knew me about 5-6 years ago and I may not have spent as much time with him as we all would have liked after finishing our commitments, but I was glad to be of good company along with others during his final days in America.

With that said, we got into the Guggenheim around 9:30 PM after waiting in line for some time. I am told that they would begin cutting off the line after a certain time into the event since the buildup peaks around the hours of 9 to 10 PM. At the museum, the first floor or lobby becomes extremely crowded as it becomes the main bar and lounge. The rest of the building is open for people to walk around and view the displayed art, which was a collection from Richard Prince. Most of Prince’s collections were largely photos he took in his travels, unused photos from Malboro’s ad campaigns, some pictures of amateur porn, frames of dirty jokes he liked, and movie memorabilia from his encounters.

I can see the Guggenheim First Fridays being a great singles night and date and the lax security does allow for some antics to take place. There was one instance where we saw a young, attractive couple coming out of the small Men’s bathroom together after being there some time. At first we were a bit shocked to see an attractive blond walking out until we saw her pulling her boyfriend out with her hand. A few of us cheered, one person praised the boyfriend, but it was agreed that it was a good idea to have bathroom sex at the Guggenheim just for the sake of doing it and for bragging rights. Other security holes involve a few people taking pictures of the gallery in the upper floors, and security actually extending the restricted areas to allow for more drinkers at the nearby bars.

One of the major highlights in First Fridays were the drinks. Unlike other events, the Guggenheim requires all attendees to buy drink tickets, which cost $3, with 1 ticket to buy water/soda, 2 tickets for beer or wine, and 3 tickets for St. Germaine cocktails. The alcohol they served consisted of beers from local microbrewies, but the St. Germain cocktails were amazing. I think it was safe to say many of us, especially our host James, had a great time and many were energised by the atmosphere that night. Unfortunately, NJtransit only runs until 1:00 AM so the New Jersey group, including myself had to leave or else our way home would get needlessly complicated.

Speaking of old faces, I was able to meet up with an old friend from the High School days at First Fridays, who seems to be doing well with her career in Manhattan. On the other hand, my other friend was not able to make it to the museum before 9:30 PM but he miraculously go in around 11ish. I am sure he had a good experience visiting the Guggenheim in a livelier state than it usually is on normal hours. This night was a lively night and a farewell for me, but the start of new beginning for my friend.

I slept in on Saturday after my friend’s farewell party. Later that day I again returned to New York to celebrate Salman’s birthday and Vivian and John’s engagement. Much of the night was spent eating out at a nearby Thai restaurant called Song Kran before heading out for a night of improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre to watch “Let’s Have a Ball”.

Let’s Have A Ball

Writers and Performers from the Emmy-award winning ’30 Rock’, ‘The Colbert Report’, and the UCB Theatre come together to play for your entertainment in this Improv Star-Studded Long-Form Show.

Life is short. Let’s Have a Ball.

Scott Adsit (30 Rock & writer, Adult Swim’s Emmy award winning Moral Orel)
Kay Cannon (writer, 30 Rock)
Becky Drysdale (One Woman in Several Pieces)
Christina Gausas (Dorff & Gausas, Late Night with Conan O’Brien)
Peter Gwinn (writer, The Colbert Report)
Anthony King (Rueben Williams, writer, creator, Gutenberg! The Musical!)
Laura Krafft (writer, The Colbert Report)

With Special Guests:
Rob Riggle (correspondent, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
Tami Sagher (writer, 30 Rock)

The improv themes of the night were “randy”, “pee in the seat” and “don’t go to Kansas” which led to interesting skits. After nearly 2 hours of random laughter, we left the theatre and called it a night. The random references to the JFK assassination and calling scissors “double knife” were quite amusing although the entire skit involving shot genitalia and father and son body shaving was a bit too much.

It was good to see much of the gang together despite our different schedules and from living in different parts of the Tri-state.


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